Owners of a property at Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel proposed to subdivide the marginal farm into five separate titles for house sites.  The property encompasses part of an elevated free-draining terrace and approximately 18.5 hectares of coastal floodplain behind the Hot Water Beach dunes.  The low-lying land is subject to regular flooding which restricted its grazing use.

It was proposed that the floodplain would be retired from farming, restored towards its natural state, and protected by a covenant.  This would restore a significant area of an identified 'threatened environment' and part of a complex and connected coastal wetland and floodplain ecosystem.  The proposed subdivision application gained consent as a Non-Complying Activity under the Thames Coromandel District Council Proposed District Plan.

An ecological assessment of effects of the proposal and management recommendations were provided to guide the ecological restoration of the floodplain towards its natural state.  The wetland restoration involved both active planting and natural regeneration through the removal of stock and weeds and the blocking of drains to help restore the natural hydrology.

A photopoint of an area of the wetland restoration can be seen here (Doc1.pdf).